Despite the provincial government touting Saskatchewan’s “strong job growth,” employment in the province remains flat, according to Statistics Canada.
The province pointed to month-to-month comparisons in its press release on the numbers: Seasonally adjusted, there were 4,200 new jobs created in March when compared to February.
“If you take the longer view from March this year to March a year ago, it doesn’t look all that positive,” said Doug Elliott, publisher of Sask. Trends Monitor, a monthly statistical newsletter.
There were just 900 more jobs in March 2018 than a year before.
Stats Canada described the province’s job growth as “flat.”
The number of people not working or looking for a job increased by 3.1 per cent in the first three months of 2017 and Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate didn’t budge from 5.8 per cent — on par with the national average.
Overall, first-quarter employment is down 0.3 per cent from where it was in 2017. That puts the province even with Manitoba and well behind Alberta’s 2.1 per cent growth.
“Our neighbours are doing better than we are,” said Elliott.
Across the province, there were more part-time jobs created in March than full-time positions.
Increased urban housing starts and manufacturing sales are positive signs in Saskatchewan, but full-time employment was down 0.2 per cent while part-time employment was up 2.2 per cent.
Most of the decline in full-time work was in the private sector, compared to a 2.9-per-cent increase in the public sector.
March employment went up in small businesses, transportation and warehousing, and personal or household services.
Declines were found in the professional and technical services, agriculture and food services sectors.
NDP jobs critic Vicki Mowat said we are seeing a very slow growth rate for Saskatchewan.
“It’s frustrating we’re not seeing any job creation plans,” she said, adding the slow job growth is something that “we need to be paying attention to.”
“We’re definitively concerned with the budget coming up, that we’re going to see more of the same from them.”
The province is looking at its growth in sales as a highlight.
“Recent indicators showing that Saskatchewan leads the nation in growth in manufacturing sales in January, and urban housing starts over the first two months of the year, in addition to month-to-month job growth in March, confirms our economy is positioned for growth in 2018,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a news release.
Source: Regina Leader-Post